It is surprising to some to learn that Muslims generally hold Jesus of Nazareth in very high regard. They acknowledge His virgin birth, His status as a great prophet and teacher, the most miraculous man in history, and even His role as Messiah.
But Muslims do NOT believe that Jesus is God. They claim that the scriptures of the New Testament have been twisted and misrepresented over time. So let us be clear. What DOES the New Testament say? Is Jesus God?
First, it is important to establish that the New Testament translations we commonly use (NIV, NASB, ESV, etc.) are translations by teams of scholars directly from the Greek. Nothing has been lost through multiple translations. Thousands of Greek manuscripts confirm the words of our New Testament directly.
Now, let us examine the evidence:
- In John 5:16-18, the Jews were outraged that He was “making Himself equal with God.” Jesus did not tell them that they had misunderstood His claim.
- In John 8:49, Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM.” Jesus appeared to be taking on God’s Hebrew name, “I AM.”
- In John 10:30-33, Jesus said “I and my Father are one.” The Jews took up stones to stone Him, saying “you, being a man, make yourself equal with God.” Wouldn’t this have been a good time for Jesus to correct them if they were misunderstanding things?
- In Matthew 16:63-64, the high priest says “tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus responds “It is as you said.”
- John 1:1-3 tells us plainly that Jesus is God and that He created the universe.
- In Matthew 28:17, the apostles worship Jesus. He does not tell them to stop.
- In John 20:28, Thomas looks at Jesus and says “My Lord and my God!” Jesus responds, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed?”
- Revelation 5:8-14 tells us that Jesus is worshipped forever and ever. Is anyone but God to be worshipped forever and ever?
- Colossians 1:16-17 tells us that “all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Were all things created by the power of a man, to the glory of a man, or is Jesus God?